The Top 5 Nutrients to Improve Brain Function | Podcast #333

For your brain to work efficiently, it needs specific nutrients, making the food we eat vital to brain function. What types of nutrients do we need to help our brains work? 

Some foods, such as fruits, vegetables, coffee, and tea, have antioxidants that help safeguard your brain from harm. Others, such as eggs and nuts, have nutrients that support memory and brain development. You can help keep your brain healthy and boost your alertness, memory, and mood by strategically including these foods in your diet. 

Nutrition is essential for healthy brain function! To learn more about refining your brain process in memory, attention, focus, and sleep while also eliminating symptoms of anxiety and depression, don’t skip the full podcast, check out other videos, and don’t forget to hit like, subscribe button, and the notification bell!


Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

1:43  Inflammation in the Brain

3:50  Improving Brain Function

7:41  How Food Affects Brain Function

11:24 Insulin Resistance on the Brain

24:11 Improving Blood Flow in the Brain

27:16 Glutamate Issues

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey guys, it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here with Evan Brand in the house. Today, we’re going to be talking about the top five nutrients to improve your brain function. Really excited to dive into this topic today, it should be a good one, Evan, what’s happening, man?

Evan Brand: Oh, not too much been reading about some of these herbs. And these are something that we do personally. And clinically, I just want to point that out from the beginning. The difference between you and I and conventional practitioners is they’re not taking the drugs, they’re not experimenting with the stuff they’re prescribing. They’re not putting people on the depression drugs and the beta blockers and all of that, and the Adderall and vyvanse. And all the cognitive enhancing drugs, they’re not doing that themselves. So the cool thing about us is that we believe in what we do, and we want to try these things and see how they perform on us. And what if we mix it with that nutrient? How does that combine with this diet approach? And how does that combine with good sleep and good sunshine. So I think it’s fun, because you and I have personal insight into these things. And not just the clinical insight. And that really, I think makes you a better practitioner, but it makes you make a better protocol, because you know, how you feel. And then you can then tweak the nutrients based on that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 110%. So I mean, I think, based on our clinical performance, I mean, just kind of, we always start with the low hanging fruit. So like if people are coming into the show when they you know, want a lot of the nuance, more granular stuff, right stuff. And that was we’ll talk about that too. But we also have to make sure people that are coming in, that don’t have a good foundation, we have to assume that foundation is not there. So of course, getting inflammation in the body down in the gut makes a huge difference, because inflammation in the gut will create inflammation in the brain. And inflammation in the brain will activate certain immune cells in the brain, right. So you have these astrocytes, which are like that make up the blood brain barrier, which prevent things on the inside going into the brain right outside going in. So if you can have good blood brain barrier, that’s important. And then once you get things going into the blood brain barrier into the brain that’s going to activate these cells, these immune cells called micro glial cells, and these are basically part of the brains immune system that go in there and clean up inflammation and gunk. And the when those brain cells or immune cells are activated, those microglial cells are activated, that’s actually going to create cognitive issues, brain fog, and things like that mood issues. A lot of the new wave of antidepressants and mood medications that are coming out are actually working on brain inflammation. So we know inflammation plays a massive role. And the hallmark of inflammation is going to be cytokines interleukins, c reactive protein, maybe other inflammatory metabolites, nuclear factor Kappa beta, of course, um, you know, part of the inflammation is going to be in activation of the immune system on one side, and usually their cells that are going to be broken down to the faster rate than they’re building up, whether it’s inflammation from bad foods, excess omega six junky fats, trans fats, hydrogenated oils, pesticides, mold, toxins could be bacterial toxins, mycotoxins from fungus and yeast, acid aldehyde, from alcohol and yeast by products. So all of our gut, bacteria, yeast, parasites, all of these things are going to create endotoxins, or internal toxins, endogenous toxins in the body. And then of course, we have exogenous toxins in the environment, like our mold, heavy metals, pesticides, chemicals like that plastics, xeno, estrogens, all of these things are going to be in the environment, of course, all the foods we put into our body. And then of course, the more nutrient poor our food are, right? The more nutrient poor our food is, the more crap in the more junk, the less nutrients you have to run those metabolic pathways to run optimally.

Evan Brand: Yeah, great job laying the groundwork, as people coming in are gonna say, Well, why why do we need a whole podcast dedicated to improving brain function? And the answer is because we’re up against so much. So you did a great job kind of highlighting that it’s the food, it’s the air, it’s the water, it’s the heavy metals, it could be the silver amalgam fillings in your mouth. I mean, there’s a lot of things that are in our environment now that are neurotoxic. They’re not just highly estrogenic and endocrine disrupting, but they’re also neurotoxins. And we’re breathing them in every day. And you and I’ve measured hundreds, if not 1000s, at this point of clients around the world. And I’ve seen children as young as two and three years old with massive toxicity from gasoline additives to thau, late to xylene, to nail polish chemicals and hairspray chemicals, and to 4D and glyphosate. I mean, it’s amazing just how toxic people are. I would tell you just based on looking at this clinically, the most toxic people on the planet right now according to me running all these labs would be children less than age 10. And I think it’s due to just the toxicity of the planet that’s increased, but also this maternal transfer through breast milk and through the placenta. All the women that grew up in the 70s and 80s and 90s and now 2000s that are having children, that multi generational toxicity really built up, whereas someone like my grandparents, and you know, growing up in the 1940s, glyphosate wasn’t even around for the First 30 plus years of their life. So yeah, there was a lag, basically. And yeah, the lag has caught up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And there’s a lot of environmentalists out there that are, you know, talking about co2 and things like that. Well, co2 is plant food. I mean, I really wish the conversation about the environment really switched to pesticides, and xeno estrogenic compounds, I think these one they’re affecting us, they’re getting into our groundwater, they’re getting into our food, they’re affecting our kids, you know, much more than like, let’s say co2, wood, right? Because I mean, you can just grow more plants and more plants around you to, to take in and basically, you know, use that co2 for photosynthesis to make glucose and, and for plant fuel, essentially, but things like toxins, right? I mean, you need to actually there’s nothing in nature, that’s going to be buffering that, like, I know, plants buffer co2, right, I’m not aware of it. And so we have to use special filtration, whether it’s air filtration, like for instance, and Evans situation, Evans, very sensitive to fumes, incense, so he has a really good high quality Austin air filter with activated charcoal with zeolite and impregnated potassium iodide to filter a lot of those volatile organic compounds out or if we’re using something on the waterside, we’re using a really high quality carbon or reverse osmosis filter to filter out pesticides and chemicals and pharmaceutical drugs that are actually in our water. So we actually have to go through extra modalities and methods to filter these things out, I’m just far more concerned about these things, then, you know, more natural forming things. So I hope that conversation can shift because it plays a big role on our mood, and our energy and our brain performance. And so kind of switching things back to our brain function, getting inflammation dialed in. And of course, I talked about nutrient density. Why is nutrient density important? Well, B vitamins are the low hanging fruit for brain function. Okay, and B vitamins are going to be the highest and high quality animal products, especially animal meat. And then of course, our high quality vegetables. So that’s to be in my opinion, the foundation of our diet is kind of this really good paleo template that focuses on lots of good healthy plants, and lots of good healthy fats and animal products. And ideally getting more of our fats from healthy animals, saturated fats and plant fats because animal fats are much more stable due to their saturated nature, right? plant fats tend to be a lot more unsaturated monounsaturated, and they can be more heat unstable, right? So the best plant fats that are out there are going to be your extra virgin olive oil, your avocado, your palm oils. And of course, the the hallmark of plant fats are going to be your coconut oil because it’s saturated, which makes it a lot more heat stable. And then of course, our if we can tolerate high quality grass fed butter, high quality, ghee, or duck tallow or beef tallow, good, high quality saturated fats on the animal side are going to be great too.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I mean, hate to call them out specifically, but we’ve seen it clinically, the vegetarian vegan people, they have a harder time with brain function, not only brain function, but mood issues, you and I’ve done podcasts on depression, we’ve done podcast on anxiety, due to the lack of the good fats in general, unless they’re trying really hard, we’re going to see this issue with poor cognitive function much, much worse and vegetarian vegan clients. And we’ve actually had some clients that have went back on meats and good quality fish and eggs, because their brain function was so poor, they were literally failing at work. And I had a couple people who were at potential job loss because their cognitive function was so bad after getting off of good meats and fats, and just going with just plant foods, they literally had to for their brain function, I was of course, very happy to see them perform better will make out those good fats back in.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. And of course, they just kind of a little crash course and organic chemistry, saturated fats, they there’s the bond in between the carbons, so you have a carbon, and then the other carbon that’s connected to this a single bond, right, so it goes carbon, carbon, carbon, carbon. And so for instance, like medium chain triglycerides are fats that are between six and 12 carbons, right. And like butyric acid butter, I think, is around four carbons. So imagine, you know, six or 12 carbons, they’re all going to be connected with single bonds in between, which means the outer edges are going to have three hydrogens or the inner part of the bonds are going to have two hydrogens attached to it. Again, all you have to know is the difference in the bonds. So saturated fats have single bonds, which make it more flexible and ability to withstand higher heats. poly unsaturated fats, right, omega threes or omega sixes, right? The omega refers to how many double bonds there are in in the fatty acid chain. So omega threes have three double bonds, omega sixes have six double bonds, and when you have double bonds, they’re they makes the fat more inflexible, and makes it more a lower smoke point, meaning it can oxidize and it can go bad. And so just no saturated fats don’t have the double bonds, and it’s going to make it a lot more stable. And why is that important? Because our brains like 70%, fat and cholesterol. So if you’re not eating the right ratio, and the end the good raw material building blocks for your brain, you’re gonna have a problem. And every cell in our body has a what’s called a lipid by layer. So you have this little fatty lipid layer on the outer part of the cell. And if you start making or Start using junky fats to build that layer of backup is going to stress out your antioxidant reserves. And you’re going to build really inflexible, non healthy non-communicative cells with very inflexible cell membranes.

Evan Brand: Yeah. And how does that manifest? Well, that’s where some of the memory issues pop up, you freak and your best friend’s name, you go into the pantry, you don’t know why you’re there, you figure you forget which way you’re supposed to turn. When you get off the highway off the exit, do I go left? Do I go right? Even though you’ve been that way before, maybe you slip up on someone’s name, maybe at work, you’re slipping up in a presentation, you completely get sidetracked and you just can’t get yourself back on track. Maybe you’re unable to read, maybe you’re unable to retain the information you read, you have to read things multiple times. Maybe you hear someone like Hi, nice to meet you, john, and you immediately forget his name, that kind of stuff. Those are things that we see. It doesn’t necessarily have to be Alzheimers or dementia level to be considered a cognitive problems. So when we say cognitive problem, like everything else, there’s there’s a spectrum, you have the far end, which is going to be your clinical diagnosis of dementia and Alzheimer’s and whatever else Parkinson’s, and then maybe you have like your brain fog, forgetfulness, memory issues. And I’m not saying that those people with those mild brain issues are all going to end up demented. But it’s important to recognize those things now. So that we can do what we can, like you said to reduce inflammation to try to preserve the neurotransmitters in the brain. So let’s go into the nutrients if you’re ready.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, let me just hit one more things. We’re talking about diet, right. And one of the big things when people have chronic health issues, what tends to happen is we have insulin resistance, okay, where the cells become numb to insulin, insulin basically helps glucose get into the cell, it also helps protein get into the cell. And when insulin becomes resistant, it’s going to start taking a lot of the glucose and converting it and storing it as fat. Now that’s kind of in the body. Now what’s happening in the brain, insulin resistance will manifest in the brain through our brain not being able to use glucose for fuel. So it’s like you can have a lot of glucose in the bloodstream, but the brain is not going to be able to use it. So it’s like the brain starving nutritionally, to be able to use glucose for fuel. And so you start to form inflammation in the brain and a lot of plaquing in the brain. Now, the same enzyme that helps break down insulin is called insulin degrading enzyme. That enzyme when there’s lots of insulin around gets wasted away dealing with insulin. The problem is that insulin degrading enzyme has dual purposes, it can go in and clean up plaque in the brain. So it cleans up the brain, it’s the vacuum cleaner for your brain keeps the brain free of plaque. We know plaque has a negative impact on cognitive function and performance. And also when you become more insulin resistant in the brain, it’s hard to use glucose. So starting to decrease insulin allows the brain to also switch hit and start using ketones for fuel. And ketones are very people that have brain issues. That’s part of the reason why they’re reversing Alzheimer’s with ketones. So the first thing we do is we we don’t add ketones in our body, we switch our body’s insulin levels by restricting excess carbohydrates or our body can make ketones and start utilizing ketones for fuel. That’s just kind of first step out of the gates though, because if we have this physiology there, where we’re insulin resistant, and I’m recommending extra B vitamins, or extra gingko, or extra bacopa, man, I mean, you’re not fixing any issues, right? You’re not you know, you’re not fixing anything, you’re not getting to the root underlying problem.

Evan Brand: Yeah, well said and then I guess that would also give people a false sense of hope. And then they would come back to you and they’d be disappointed because they’re insulin resistant, but yet you’re giving them all these good brain nutrients and maybe they only had 5% improvement.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. So you have to make sure the brain is able to utilize the fuel in the body already. And we have to switch out you know, the insulin resistance so the the parts of the brain that are utilizing insulin and breaking down insulin can actually go in and clean up the brain instead. That’s very important.

Evan Brand: Yeah, well said I mean, that’s the important fat you know, foundation framework, whatever you want to call it, because it’s impossible to circumnavigate that issue by just supplementing like you said bacopa. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, exactly. So a couple of my favorite things out of the gates like I mentioned, are going to be high quality methylated B vitamins you know B one, B two B three which are going to be thiamine riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxal, five phosphate, right which is B six pens authentic acid, which is B five, I think B7 is bioten. Right and then B nine is going to be folate and then your B 12. Make sure it’s either methylated hydroxylated or, or Adenosyl B12, which are excellent sources of B vitamins. So those are going to be great out of the gates. Outside of that things that support acetylcholine are going to be excellent. So either taking acetylcholine or using an herb called huperzine huperzine. A is is excellent at supporting that thing here. A couple of the things that um, acetylcholine really is very it’s, it really improves the colon ergic neurotransmission, which it basically helps with cognition, decreases the decline of cognition. Anything else you want to say on acetylcholine or huperzine out of the gates?

Evan Brand: Yeah, I’ve played with acetylcholine a lot. It’s kind of the Forgotten neurotransmitter, I think you and I’ve done a great job of kind of highlighting this. You know, we’ve hit on dopamine, we’ve hit on serotonin, we’ve hit on GABA, but man, you rarely have people talking about acetylcholine. So it’s, it’s probably easier to work in this mechanism, which is the huperzine is inhibiting the brain time from breaking down-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So the acetylcholinase, acetylcholine, acetylcholine esterase, which is going to be you know, it’s an enzyme because the ASC that what breaks down acetylcholine, so it’s slowing down the breakdown. And again, [inaudible] something we find in liver, egg yolk, so it’s really important in like high quality animal products, and we’re basically slowing the breakdown.

Evan Brand: Yeah, so you can do both right, you can come in with the good foods and good fats, and then you can try to slow the breakdown of that gland. It’s pretty cool. So there are a couple papers on this huperzine. Specifically, they talk about it, modifying the beta amyloid peptide processing, reducing oxidative stress. Also, they talk about helping with the secretion of NGF, which is nerve growth factor. So that’s really cool. And then it says here, finally, this is the research paper. Finally, huperzine a can significantly improve cognitive function in patients with mild to moderate vascular dementia. So that’s pretty impressive. And I personally just take this on going, I’m not necessarily fearful, but I just want my brain to function the best. So I do supplement on and off with some of these brain nutrients we’re talking about.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right. And it also helps improve mitochondrial function in the brain. So we have mitochondria in every cell, I think except red blood cells, right. And basically, the mitochondria is the powerhouse where it generates ATP. And that’s really important fuel source. And so, one, it’s neuroprotective. So if you have chemicals or not so good compounds floating around the brain, mycotoxins whatever, it’s kind of protected from being damaged. And it’s also going to help the mitochondria the brain to generate ATP. So that’s important, too.

Evan Brand: Let’s talk about the next one on our list here, the EGCG, which is going to be the poly phenol coming from green tea, because this is really cool. The study here talks about the enhanced transport of huperzine is possible with the egcg. So they found that when they were able to stack these two nutrients together, you get even more bang for your buck, which is what we find a lot with nutrients. When you and I are working on gut infections, right, we’ll find that the individual parts are not as valuable as the sum when you combine this herb with that herb and that with that, you get a much more synergistic, I would guess you would call it an exponential beneficial effect. Right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly.

Evan Brand: We got wild blueberry next on the list. Let’s talk about wild blueberries. So there are some cool antioxidant benefits here. But there are some papers-

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I wanted to highlight one thing on the egcg, right, it also helps reduce the beta beta amyloid plaque accumulation. So we talked about that, right? Because insulin resistance plays a big role because that insulin degrading enzyme, which is depleted when you have insulin resistance, that’s there to help decrease beta amyloid plaque. And we know that the beta amyloid plaque is going to be reduced when we’re taking egcg is due to its anti inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

Evan Brand: That’s awesome. All right, let’s go back to the wild blueberry. This one’s cool, too, some cool papers on this in regards to being a potent antioxidant. They have done some animal studies on this to help increase the capacity of neurons to maintain proper functioning through the aging process as also reduces some of the beta amyloid plaque aggregation. It also talks about how of course the mitochondrial function is disrupted, and the wild blueberry extract helps to protect against that. And then also, guess what, this is cool. It also leads to higher production of glutathione. So that’s a pretty interesting little mechanism.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, very interesting. I mean, a lot of those compound gluta phones are really powerful antioxidant. So again, they’re gonna still have like a good anti inflammatory kind of benefit. And again, you can get some of these benefits by just eating a handful or two of organic blueberries a day, which is going to be really helpful by drinking a little bit of green tea. So you don’t have to supplement these things all the time. You can also try to get them in Whole Foods sources. And again, it helps with mitochondrial function, it’s going to help in decreasing a pop ptosis and cells kind of dying on their own. And like you mentioned, natural acetylcholine esterase inhibitor. So it helps acetylcholine increase and like you mentioned on codifier on so I like that a lot. I wanted to bring one other thing in here is Lion’s Mane. Lion’s Mane is a medicinal mushroom. But it’s well it’s well established to be super helpful. It was so as Reishi as well Ganoderma lucidum. That’s Reishi. Lion’s Mane as well as very helpful on cognitive funk function. So it’s going to help with a lot of different things. It helps with antioxidant, it’s what’s known to be helpful in improving cognitive performance. It’s known to be helpful at repairing brain cells. And again, just 20 or 30 years ago in medical school, they would have taught their medical students that the brain can not repair When you damage a cell, that’s it, it’s done. And we know today that cells can actually recover and improve. So one of these mushrooms is going to be a great thing out of the gate. So big, big fan of lion’s mane, it’s shown to be protective against dementia as well, which is awesome. It stimulates brain cell growth, which is awesome. It’s also has some really improved and excellent benefits regarding depression and anxiety and mood. It helps with injury recovery. So it has some anti inflammatory kind of benefits as well. Couple of studies where they did damage to, I think it was rats or mice, spinal cords. And then they looked at the growth and the recovery on it. And they saw that when they gave these little rats Lion’s Mane mushroom that reduced recovery time 20 to 40%. And they saw that Lion’s Mane extract may also help reduce the severity of brain damage after a stroke. And in one study, the lion’s mane extract was given to rats immediately after a stroke helped decrease inflammation and reduce the size of the stroke related brain injury by 44%. So big, big fan of lion’s mane and medicinal mushrooms, for sure.

Evan Brand: And can you believe that’s not happening in standard practice right now in the medical facilities? I mean, if you have a stroke today, you’re going to go into the hospital, and then they’re going to give you peanut butter crackers for lunch right after.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s unbelievable. Yeah, I mean, they should be doing hyperbaric oxygen, they should be doing Lion’s Mane they should be doing maybe progesterone therapy, which is helpful. They should be doing like a lot of the antioxidants and glutathione and nutrients that we just talked about, right? They’re not and it’s just, it’s frustrating, because all these things are in the scientific literature, but you know, conventional medicine unless they can patent it or make a drug out of it. You know, they’re not really interested. Yet everyone thinks that, hey, they’re giving you the most cutting edge care possible? Probably not. We know this is all in the literature. And so it’s out there, it’s just you know, we all have our biases, and we’re all about utilizing all the options that are there. And there’s so many natural options that have been around for so long, like medicinal mushrooms are used in oriental communities for for very long periods of time. Rishi courtice apps, my talkie, very good immune boosting immune enhancing benefits. So I like that.

Evan Brand: Yeah, I’ve been taking Lion’s Mane for several months, it’s been a big help. I actually had a female client who she had a chronic tongue burning issue. This was one of those guests in Czech type things, and it actually works. So she had some sort of a dental procedure. I don’t remember exactly what but we believe that was some nerve damage. And so she had literally chronic burning of her tongue 24 seven, she was just absolutely miserable. We got her on lion’s mane. And within two months, she had 75% reduction in the burning tone. So that was one of those random guesses and checks and it happened to work. So we’re luckily we’re keeping her on it. And she’s maintaining her benefits.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, can modulate the immune system, it can also help decrease inflammation. Also, there’s studies on Lion’s Mane helping with diabetes, and we know diabetes. And that insulin degrading enzyme helps to remove plaque in the brain. So we know that the blood sugar component of lion’s mane, maybe part of the reason why it’s helping cognitive function.

Evan Brand: Yeah, and there’s a lot of anti cancer benefits to a lot of these medicinal mushrooms you’re talking about too. So we’re both huge fans, we love them, we take them. And you probably should, too, if you’re listening. And these are supplements that are not super expensive. I mean, you’re talking maybe 50 bucks for a really, really high quality version.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And then also a lot of these met the the big mechanism you’re going to see across the board is you’re going to see an acetylcholine mechanism, you’re going to see an antioxidant mechanism, right. And so usually when you see the ability to reduce oxidative stress, you also see that the ability to reduce inflammation because when you reduce inflammation, inflammation drives oxidation. So oxidation is when you lose electrons. And so a lot of these compounds like lion’s mane, they have antioxidants in them. Usually they have a clue to fire and supporting effect. And then that helps buffer the oxidative stress because antioxidants come in they freely donate their electrons. So when electron pair is removed, that can create oxidation. And these guys come in there and they donate electrons freely and stabilize those cells. And that reduces oxidation. And that reduces inflammation. So that’s pretty powerful, and so very helpful with inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain.

Evan Brand: Let’s hit on another mechanism. It’s about improving the blood flow in the brain. We know that gaesco which is amazing. Gingko has some what they call like microcirculation in the brain improvements. I love gingko I’ve played with a lot of gingko and used it and they’re amazing, beautiful trees. If you’ve seen the Leafs of them, they’re very, very cool actually found my old property actually found a rock that was like a fossil with well preserved gingko leaves in the rock. It was super cool. So gingko is like one of the oldest trees it’s been around hundreds of millions of years. But on that same vein of cerebral blood flow, you’ve got the vinpocetine which comes from Periwinkle flower. And that’s really cool because it’ll actually cross the blood brain barrier. You know, there’s, there’s a lot we talked about, and but the truth is you got to get the nutrients across that barrier if you really want the benefit. So there’s a lot have different studies on dementia related issues and vinpocetine, quote, producing a significantly more improvement with memory problems than placebo on global cognitive test regarding attention, concentration and memory, it talks about increasing the cell membrane flexibility and stroke pay since it talks about decreasing platelet and red blood cell aggregation. It talks about protecting neurons from toxicity of glutamate. So this is a very cool nutrient.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And you mentioned the bacopa. And they’ve been post a teen, they all have blood flow enhancing effects. And we know inflammation causes increase aggravation of red blood cells and platelets. And that can decrease blood flow and blood flow is going to carry oxygen and it’s going to carry nutrients, right. And so the more we can decrease inflammation and get nutrients up to the brain, you’re going to feel better, and you’re going to do better, right. And then you mentioned a lot of the big benefits are going to come from antioxidants, effects, they’re also going to come from the protection of neurons. So if we have any type of inflammatory or toxin around it, is going to help those neurons and prevent them from dying, right, which is really important. And then also just to highlight, there’s a lot of studies on gluten actually decreasing blood flow to the brain. And we know blood flow is a really important component. And there was, I think, one study on migraines and they found that you know, the garden hose is the carotid arteries that go up the side of the neck here brings blood up to the brain. And in patients that were consuming gluten, they found that there was a decrease in blood flow. And then this one group, I think they restricted gluten and they saw 90% of them nine out of 10 and your migraines went to zero, and they saw an improved blood flow up to the brain. So we cannot you know, underestimate the the effects of kodagu ability meaning reducing coagul ability clotting and increasing blood flow, better blood flow, better nutrition and that can have major effects on the brain. And we know things like gluten and anything more on the inflammatory side will impact that on a negative side on the on the negative fashion.

Evan Brand: That’s amazing. It’s like you should go to the restaurant and they’re going to give you the gonna give you the bread or give you the bun. Yeah, here we’re going to reduce your cerebral blood flow. Are you ready for this? Oh, sure. I would love to reduce my examination to my brain.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And you mentioned like a lot of the glutamate issues and how that’s going to be part of that inflammatory cascade. And we know glutamate is shown to be an excitotoxin so it really overstimulate cells to the point they die. And so of course, decreasing that gluten exposure and decreasing that glutamate and that and MDA, which is going to be stimulated by that glutamate, which is going to overstimulate ourselves and cause them to die. That’s a problem. And so we know a lot of these compounds, right? [inaudible] bacopa, are a neuroprotective and they’re also going to help with blood flow. So that’s a good component out of the gates. And I would say next would be one of my favorites, serotonin and dopamine support. So I have a product called brain deplete that has dopamine or tyrosine. And it’s also gonna have five HTP and some of those key B vitamins out of the gates. I think those are kind of low hanging fruit because those amino acids serotonin and dopamine, which are going to be building blocks of tryptophan and five HTP, and Tyrosine and phenylalanine, they’re really important for serotonin and dopamine, which have a lot to do with sleep and recovery. And serotonin is a powerful precursor to melatonin, which is a powerful antioxidant. And then of course, dopamine is a powerful focus and brain enhancing kind of effects. Right? Don’t means focus and feel good. I love you that good feeling of satisfaction and helps with really focusing and studying and learning. So dopamine and serotonin and have major important benefits on brain health.

Evan Brand: Yeah, and we’re in a very chronically low neurotransmitter population. And I mean, Doug, look at the way society performs. Look at our everyone’s addicted to everything addictions come from low dopamine. So you’re constantly refreshing your Instagram, you’re going to this social media, then that one, I mean, that’s kind of a low dopamine state. And you and I have the data to prove this is not just theory, you and I’ve looked at 1000s at this point of organic acids test, and I will say probably seven out of 10 people I’m looking at, they have sub clinical, I guess you would call it it’s not like a pathological level. It’s not like a, you know, Parkinson’s type level, but they’re going to be on the low dopamine side, and we can boost this back up. So the fun part is helping people to reverse this stuff. So I want to just, you know, wrap this thing up and tell people that you can reverse a lot of your cognitive problems, and most people don’t even know how brain fog they are until they truly get better. So clearing out the garden infections, cleaning up the diet, reducing inflammation in the gut getting rid of Candida that’s producing the aldehyde you talked about getting rid of the lightbulb polysaccharide production, getting rid of any kind of toxin that’s internally pooping in you essentially getting rid of those toxins, plus dialing in the diet plus the nutrients while you can improve brain function 300%. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I mean, it’s totally possible 100% and the only other X Factor should be if we have to work on detoxification of mold or heavy metals. There are special compounds that we would use, whether it’s glutathione or various binders, beet root extract activated charcoal zeolite fulvic minerals. Maybe if we’re doing heavy metal, we may use things like dmps or HLA or cloudify on so it depends when it comes to a lot of these more intense detoxification programs you want to make sure you’re healthy enough you want to work with the practitioner to make sure that you’re in a stable place to be able to handle that it wouldn’t be something that would say hey, you want to improve your brain function just knock these things down right away because you may actually feel worse. You want to work on the foundational things the low hanging fruit and the maybe some of the more I don’t know more general support that would be helpful like B vitamins or Lion’s Mane or some of those herbs that aren’t going to have a over a detoxifying effect if you will.

Evan Brand: Yeah, good call. I mean there is a point where you need a practitioner the line brain the mold, brain bartonella brain I mean some of these bigger complex 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Chronic infections, infections for sure. 

Evan Brand: They get intense so if you do need help, please reach out you can reach Dr. J at and you can reach me at and we would love to talk with you about this figure out what’s going on with you and see if we can help.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely, if you guys enjoyed it, give us a thumbs up click down below our links where you can give us a review., for that review, put your comment down below. I’d love to know your experience and kind of you know, applying some of the things we’re talking about and to give us some feedback on things that you’re already applying in what you’re seeing improvements in your health. We really appreciate it. It gets us excited.


Audio Podcast:

Recommended products:

Brain replete

Serotonin replete

Dopa replete

Antioxidant Supreme

TruKeto Collagen


Organic Grass Fed Meat

Coffee: Does it Affect the Adrenals?

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

There’s no doubt coffee is an efficient way to get the day started strong–but does the temporary energy boost lead to an energy loss in the long run? Let’s dive into the pros and cons of this beloved caffeinated concoction to determine whether coffee is benefiting or draining you.

The Benefits of Coffee

Our brains have an inhibitory neurotransmitter called adenosine, which helps to calm and relax. Coffee decreases adenosine–the compound that decreases energy and alertness–thereby increasing energy!

This adenosine-dampening effect helps boost energy and focus, and can be particularly useful for burning fat. Taken before a workout, caffeinated coffee (averaging between 150-300 mg of caffeine per cup) helps increase lipolysis: fat burning. There are also many people who opt to swap coffee for breakfast to remain in ketosis: a cup of coffee with healthy fats (grass-fed butter, coconut oil, MCT oil, pastured egg yolk…) can be a fat-burning yet quite satiating meal replacement that helps you stay in ketosis while keeping you full and alert.

High quality coffee is actually quite nutrient-packed. B vitamins, a lot of alkaloids, and antioxidants are especially abundant in coffee. There are also several studies which indicate coffee may be neuro-protective, providing protection from neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and dementia.

Are you dealing with chronic fatigue? functional medicine doctor.

Coffee Downfalls

If you suffer from adrenal or thyroid issues such as adrenal fatigue or hypothyroidism, take note of how caffeine affects your condition and pay attention to how you feel in the hours and days after its consumption.

Coffees and the Adrenals

Coffee stimulates adrenaline and the adrenals–if you have healthy adrenal function, this is similar to getting a little cortisol or adrenaline push which may boost your energy and performance. If you have adrenal fatigue, however, you may want to exert a little caution when it comes to caffeinated coffee.

The science is somewhat contradictory: some studies show caffeine affects cortisol levels, some studies say it does not affect cortisol levels, and others have shown that habitual coffee drinkers have a reduced cortisol secretion response. Clearly, we need more research on this topic. Ultimately, research seems to indicate that there are a wide range of responses to caffeine intake. If you have adrenal fatigue or other adrenal/thyroid issues, it is wise to consult a professional who can help you test and track caffeine’s effect on your unique biology.

Coffee and Sleep

Cortisol rises and falls with your body’s internal clock– cortisol rhythm should be aligned with your circadian rhythm, rising in the morning and lowering in the evening. However, those with hormone imbalances may have cortisol issues. If you feel fatigued during the day but get a burst of energy at night (making it hard to fall asleep), you may have a hormonal imbalance, adrenal fatigue, or thyroid issues. This can be exacerbated by coffee, particularly if you are drinking it too late in the day. Coffee can keep you ramped up even 6 hours after drinking it, so it is recommended to have your last cup no later than 2pm.

How to Use Coffee to Your Benefit

Coffee is an incredibly useful substance which provides us with energy and alertness when used correctly. To avoid the downfalls of this caffeinated beverage, here are some tips to get the most out of every sip.

Hydration and Nutrients

Coffee can put your body in a sympathetic state, reducing appetite. If you are doing a keto coffee with added fat (like butter), you may feel like you can go for hours without eating. While this may work great for a healthy individual, if you have compromised adrenals or thyroid, it is important to eat regularly to prevent putting extra stress on your body. A combination of adrenal fatigue or hypothyroidism, caffeine, and fasting can cause undue stress. Be sure to eat meals at good intervals of every 3 hours or so, depending on your body: grass-fed meats, healthy fats, and organic veggies. It is also beneficial to add a high quality source of protein or a collagen powder to your coffee.

Coffee Quality and Decaffeinated Coffee

Decaffeinated coffee can be beneficial for those with adrenal fatigue or thyroid issues who want to avoid the burden of consuming caffeine. Be aware, caffeine is a natural pesticide, and decaffeinated coffee is sprayed more heavily to compensate. Organic coffee grown without pesticides will help you avoid this common downfall of decaf coffee. Just be sure the coffee is decaffeinated via a Swiss water process, not the toxic and carcinogenic benzene or methyl chloride process.

So, To Drink or Not To Drink?

Ultimately, every individual has unique biochemistry and whether coffee is helpful or harmful will depend on: the state of your health, the quality of the coffee you buy, and how you use it. Choose a high quality coffee grown without pesticides and checked for mold. If you have autoimmune issues, it might be best to cut caffeine for a little bit to see how it affects how you feel. Unless you’re in ketosis, a great way to prepare coffee is by adding healthy fats like grass-fed butter or coconut oil, along with a protein powder. This combination turns coffee into more of a ‘meal’ which supports your thyroid and adrenals.

Still wondering if coffee is helpful or harmful for YOU? Click here for a consult with a functional medicine doctor.


Strahler, J., Skoluda, N., Kappert, M. B., & Nater, U. M. (2017). Simultaneous measurement of salivary cortisol and alpha-amylase: Application and recommendations. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 83, 657-677.

al’Absi M, Lovallo WR. (2004). Caffeine effects on the human stress axis. In: Nehlig A, editor. Coffee, tea, chocolate and the brain. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; p. 11331.

Lovallo, W. R., Al’absi, M., Blick, K., Whitsett, T. L., & Wilson, M. F. (1996). Stress-like adrenocorticotropin responses to caffeine in young healthy men. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 55(3), 365-369.

Harris, A., Ursin, H., Murison, R., & Eriksen, H. R. (2007). Coffee, stress and cortisol in nursing staff Psychoneuroendocrinology, 32(4), 322-330.

Gavrieli, A., Yannakoulia, M., Fragopoulou, E., Margaritopoulos, D., Chamberland, J. P., Kaisari, P., Kavouras, S. A., & Mantzoros, C. S. (2011). Caffeinated Coffee Does Not Acutely Affect Energy Intake, Appetite, or Inflammation but Prevents Serum Cortisol Concentrations from Falling in Healthy Men. The Journal Of Nutrition, 141(4), 703-707.

Lovallo, W., Farag, N., Vincent, A., Thomas, T., & Wilson, M. (2006). Cortisol responses to mental stress, exercise, and meals following caffeine intake in men and women. Pharmacology, biochemistry and behavior, 83(3), 441-447.

Coffee, Caffeine and The Adrenal Fatigue Connection

Coffee, caffeine, and the adrenal fatigue
By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Today’s video is going to be on the truth about coffee. If you want more info on this, check out my recent podcasts on this topic over at

We have some of the benefits of coffee up top. We’ll break them down and we’ll make sense of it all. Also, we will talk about some of the negative aspects of coffee or how coffee could be or caffeine can be taken in a way that’s negative. It could hurt your physiology.

Again, some people take caffeine in a way that can exacerbate their thyroid or their adrenals or affect their appetite. Also, we’ll talk about how caffeine can be applied and coffee can be applied in a way that optimizes mental and cognitive performance. So let’s kind of weigh out the pros and cons on each side here.

Coffee and Adenosine

Let’s discuss some of the good things here. We have this inhibitory neurochemical called adenosine. Adenosine is an inhibitory compound, so it helps kind of dampen and relax and decrease energy in your body and how you function and feel. This is kind of like GABA, if you will.

So it’s like, if you have like a calming tea like a chamomile or a flower-based tea, that’s kind of really dampening and causing your body to relax. Typically the exact opposite of why you want to take in coffee. You want to take in coffee so we can actually dampen this adenosine response. This is helpful if we’re looking to get some work done; focus; get some energy going; increase cognitive performance because we’re learning; or we’re taking in new information; or we have to be focused dealing with people all day.

It is very helpful to be able to decrease that adenosine, dampen that. That’s why coffee is better in the morning, in the first half of the day, not taken after the noon time. This is because caffeine has an 8-hour half-life. So we want to work on metabolizing that coffee before it’s time to relax. If you’re drinking coffee too late in the afternoon, it’s going to be hard to shut down.


Find out if coffee really is good for you or otherwise from a functional medicine expert by clicking HERE!


Benefits of Coffee

The benefits of coffee

Fat Breakdown

One of the benefits is this dampening effect which can help us with energy and focus. Caffeine that’s in coffee, about 150mg to 300mg of caffeine per cup on average increases lipolysis. What is lipolysis? Let’s break it down. Lipo- means fat. -lysis means to cut or to break. So it’s fat breakdown. It’s the fancy word for fat breakdown. Having coffee and/or caffeine before workout can actually be very helpful at breaking down and increasing free fatty acids in your body. This is so you can start burning more fat for fuel, really helpful.


Coffee actually has a lot of B vitamins, a lot of alkaloids, a lot of antioxidants that are very beneficial for your health. People forget that. If you’re doing instant coffee or Maxwell House or Folger’s, or maybe some of these cheap brands, there’s a good chance that that may not be the case.


What’s an antioxidant? Well, stress oxidation causes your body to basically lose electrons. So if you have this electron right here, which is like a negatively-charged compound and basically oxidative stress comes in and it pulls away your electron. Antioxidants basically take that and prevent this from happening. So antioxidant is anti-loss of an electron. It keeps those electrons paired together versus being broken up. That is kind of how that works. Oxidation is a loss of an electron, so it’s the anti-loss of an electron.

Positive effects on Cognitive Diseases

There are lots of studies on coffee and its effect on decreasing Parkinson’s, also decreasing Alzheimer’s or dementia-like memory symptoms. There are also some studies on coffee not affecting cardiovascular disease, not attributing and not affecting cardiovascular conditions.

My clinical opinion, if you stimulate the body too much because coffee is a stimulant, that activates the sympathetic nervous system. And part of what happens with sympathetic activation is increased heart rate because that’s part of what happens when we’re stimulated. Heart rate goes up to increase blood and increased oxygenation. So that can put extra stress on the heart. If you do have a heart condition, too much caffeine may be an issue for you. We do know that there are some benefits cognitively, which is great, really good stuff.


Disadvantages of Coffee


Adrenal Stimulation

We know coffee does have adrenal stimulation. What does that mean? It’s going to stimulate adrenaline. We have a couple of different words for adrenaline: catecholamines, norepinephrine, epinephrine. Medicine loves to confuse us, so we have lots of different words that mean the same thing.

So in here, we have cortisol and then we have adrenaline. Those are our big things that are happening. Now these can be okay if we’re healthy and we have healthy adrenal function; it may not be a bad thing per se. It’s getting a little cortisol or adrenal push that may help performance. This may help this increased lypolysis, so that may be beneficial.

Sleep issues

Your cortisol rhythm is like this—here’s your AM, here’s your morning. Here’s your PM, in the afternoon. So typically, you wake up and your cortisol goes down like this throughout the day. If you’re adrenally stressed, and you’re doing coffee too much later in the day, it will have a negative effect on your sleep. Let’s say your coffee happens lower in the day; and then what happens relatively-speaking at night, you start going back up and this can be where sleep issues start to happen.

So I typically recommend not consuming any coffee after eleven or twelve o’clock. I always do it with the good high quality fats in there to time release it. And just make sure if your adrenals are messed up or your rhythm is switched, make sure you go and get your adrenals looked at and supported with a functional medicine doctor. You need to get them back in cycle and then cutting coffee out maybe the right thing for you. It may be. So this is the whole cortisol rhythm thing.

Cognitive Performance Issues

This is a big thing. Dave Asprey has kind of made this famous where coffee is known to have a lot of mycotoxins in it; so you want to avoid crappy coffee that can affect cognitive performance. You want to use coffee that makes you feel good and perform better. So the good sources like I mentioned.  The mycotoxins, the pesticides, the chemicals—so you want to avoid all those and choose high-quality coffee. Mix it and blend it in with fat so you have that time release effect that I mentioned earlier.

Jitters, Anxiety, Tachycardia

The CYP1A2 gene is a specific genotype that has evolved into an enzyme. If we don’t have this gene here, we can have a decrease in the enzyme that metabolizes caffeine. So if we have this enzyme that has decreased activity, we have decreased enzyme activity. That means that we are not going to be able to metabolize caffeine because that’s a poor caffeine metabolizer. This may make it hard for us to metabolize caffeine. So what happens is that caffeine sits in our system longer. That half-life of 8 hours is going to be much longer, maybe 10, 12, 15 hours. A half-life is how much it takes to take the caffeine in your system and cut in half. So if it takes 8 hours to cut in half, every 8 hours we continue to cut that caffeine in half. We want to make sure we’re able to metabolize it fast. If we’re not able to, doing any caffeine at all may cause jitters, anxiety, and tachycardia. This feels like the heart is beating out of your chest.

CYP1A2 genotype

So you got to be careful. This CYP1A2 genotype, if we have that we’re going to have decreased enzyme activity for breaking down caffeine. Now should you go and get a genotype test, personally don’t waste your money. Everyone here who has this issue knows it. They’re sensitive to coffee. They have it –there’s caffeine from tea or coffee, they are sensitive. If that’s the case, definitely you want to avoid caffeine. If you have energy issues, though; and you’re using that to help increase the energy and it’s too stimulatory, then you got to go get your adrenals looked at. Have it checked and assessed, and get on a functional medicine program.

Click here for a consultation with a functional medicine doctor!


Recommendations for coffee drinking

Now when I do my coffee, I mix it with butter, grass-fed butter, and MCT oil. If you have autoimmune conditions, you may want to do ghee or not even use coffee. You can maybe do a chai tea instead, if you’re sensitive.

MCT gives you these various ketone precursors that are about 6-8 times higher than in your typical coconut oil where MCT is extracted. And then also using good quality butter, we have butyric acid, these short-chain fatty acids that are really helpful. The goal is it kind of time releases the caffeine.

Essentially, if here’s the caffeine coming down the pipe here, it basically time releases it. Now the caffeine comes in much slower. So instead of having this really big bolus of caffeine, when we have the fat in it, you’re going to see what happens is this. We have what I call the magic carpet caffeine ride experience. We now have the fat and caffeine together having this gentle up and down type of effect. This is much more gradual which is nice. You don’t have the up and the down, and you’re also getting a lot of good fatty acids which can help your appetite which is really good.

Coffee and Hydration

You just got to be really careful because when you do too much caffeine, it also put your body in that sympathetic state which can shut down your appetite. This is especially true if you’re doing a lot of ketones. It’s going to cause to pee out a lot of water, so you got to make sure you’re staying hydrated with good water that has sulfur and minerals in it. Whether it’s a Pellegrino, or a Topo Chico, or a good clean filtered water that you add minerals to, it can also affect your appetite.

Coffee and other nutrients

And remember, just because you have a whole bunch of calories of good healthy fats in that coffee, people call it Bulletproof coffee or butter coffee, your body still needs nutrients. That means you’re still not eating grass-fed meat, Omega 3’s, nutrient-rich antioxidant vegetables or low sugar fruit. You’re not eating those because your appetite’s now gone south. So we got to make sure we’re not affecting our appetite so much where we’re missing the other amino acids and nutrients. Our body still needs those for optimal health. So be careful of too much appetite suppression. Ketones can do that. You just got to be careful of it. And also if your adrenals are fatigued, you may not be able to handle that stimulation.

Decaffeinated Coffee

A couple of things you can do is have decaffeinated coffee which could be helpful. You got to be careful because caffeine is a natural pesticide in coffee. Typically, decaf coffee is sprayed in a much higher rate with various pesticide compounds because the coffee doesn’t have that caffeine; so it can be attacked by mold and other things. If you do get caffeine or decaf coffee, you got to make sure it’s a Swiss water process, not the benzene or methyl chloride process that’s involved in decaffeinated coffee in the past. You want to make sure it’s the water-based Swiss water process that just involves water and no methyl chloride or benzene since benzene is carcinogenic.

Quality Coffee

So we got to make sure, if we’re going to do it, have good clean coffee. Try to make sure it’s small sources, make sure it’s roasted. Central American’s pretty good, higher altitude coffee. Don’t go for the blends that can have a lot of different bad beans. Go for a single source if you can. A couple of my favorite coffees are Bulletproof, Premier, Research Labs makes a great coffee; and there is a handful of good coffees that you can find at different shops. Just try to go for single source. Try to go roasted and try to go for companies that have a good reputation, organic if you can. Some places are organic but they don’t pay for the label. You just got to know which ones are of that organic quality standard. So be careful of the appetite.

What’s the Verdict?

So in the end, is coffee good or bad? It really depends. Choose quality. Prepare it the right way with healthy fats. If you have an autoimmune condition, cut the coffee out and use some very benign sources like a chai tea or even do nothing in the morning for a period of time. If you’re going to use butter, use ghee if you’re autoimmune, then progress to the healthy grass-fed butter. Well, if you have adrenal or thyroid issues, and you feel that caffeine is exacerbating things or your problems or your health issues; or it is abrasive on the gut, pull it out for a period of time. Add it back in. Get your adrenals and your thyroid and your hormonal system working better.

So again, this is the truth about coffee. I hope I instilled some really good info. If you feel like you’re having some issues with coffee or with your energies or your adrenals or anxiety or mood stuff, and coffee could be connected, click on screen or reach out below and make sure you subscribe to get access to more great videos coming your way.


The truth about coffee and its impact on your health – Podcast #75

Dr. Justin Marchegiani and Evan Brand begin the interview with how you can stick to your goals then proceed with a talk regarding the truth about coffee and its impact on your health. Learn all about coffee, its benefits and all the good stuff you can get from it. Find out how coffee can stimulate you and the amount of coffee that you should be drinking. 

truth about coffeeDiscover what kind of coffee you should go for and what’s the best time to drink coffee. Also in this interview, you can learn about what nutrients can be found in coffee. Did you know you can take a magic carpet caffeine ride? There are also some things you can add to your coffee to make it better, so listen to this podcast to find out what they are.

In this episode, topics include:

3:24   About coffee

6:00   Different kinds of coffee

7:24   Nutrients in coffee

8:45   When to drink coffee

15:00   Benefits of drinking coffee










Podcast: Play in New Window|Download

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Evan, what’s up?  It’s Dr. J.

Evan Brand:  Not too much.  We’re moving along and this week, it’s a great week for both of us.  The new year is off to a great start.  People are surprisingly motivated and inspired and we’re hoping to create some lasting New Year’s Resolutions.  I say I’m a big fan of 30- or 90-day resolutions, not a year, because you’re gonna be a different person in a year.  But hopefully we can still hinge on that momentum that people have programmed into their brains today.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, I mean only 8% of people actually reach their New Year’s Resolution.  So I’m a big fan of just keeping week-long resolutions.  Like if your goal is to lose 10 pounds or improve your health in way, shape or form, well, figure out the actions that need to be done on a week-to-week and then make your week the goal.  Because what happens is people get so far behind that they just eventually quit because they’re just like, “Hey, I can’t–I can’t reach that goal,” right?  I’m already 3 weeks, 4 weeks behind.  There’s no way–there’s no catching up.  But if you have a week-to-week goal–hey, my goal is to go to the gym is 2 times this week.  My goal is to eat 90%, you know, Paleo, cutting out grains and refined sugar, outside of maybe a couple of these little treats here, then it’s easy.  “Oh, I failed last week, well, I have this week in front of me.”  So you kinda chop it up into these small goals that are incredibly measurable, but then you can always just redeem yourself the next week.

Evan Brand:   Yes, something that–that also I’ve noticed is, people get into that catastrophic thinking where if they eat one brownie or one treat, they deem everything they’ve done a failure, and so they’re just like, “Well, I’m gonna go completely off track now and have nothing dialed in because I ate some–some gluten, and now everything’s ruined, so I might as well just give up completely.”  And that type of thinking gets you into trouble pretty quick.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Totally agree.  That’s why I like the short-term goals, and also set yourself up for success.  If you have a health goal, figure out how many meals you have to eat good.  Hey, I’m eating 3 meals a day, let’s say 3-4 meals a day, that’s 21 to 28 meals a week.  So let’s say 20 meals a week, you’re gonna be spot on.  They’re gonna have, you know, vegetables in it.  They’re gonna have good healthy fats.  They’re gonna be nutrient-dense, low toxins, and anti-inflammatory.  They maybe 1 or 2, I’m gonna incorporate like a little bit of a Paleo treat meal.  I’m not gonna have gluten.  I’m not gonna have a whole bunch of refined sugar and fructose and artificial sweeteners but maybe I’ll have, you know, a Paleo treat like a Hail Mary tart like 2 nights a week or I’ll have some–some dark chocolate a couple nights a week that’s very low in sugar and organic and gluten-free and all that good stuff.  So you can kinda plan in how many meals do I have to have to be really on track and then from there you can place in treats that are far better because having some dark chocolate, my gosh, 90% that’s like not even bad, but if you’re having 50% chocolate, that’s like 3 or 4 times the amount of sugar, and a whole bunch of milk and dairy, and if it’s not organic, pesticides, too.  You’re gonna be significantly derailing yourself where just doing a healthier version of that may actually give you some health benefits.

Evan Brand:   Good point.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah.  So today we chatted about kinda pre-show that we wanted to talk about coffee a little bit.

Evan Brand:   It’s very common.  I haven’t seen–I guess I’ll put it this way, 90% of people are drinking coffee that I’m seeing–I don’t know what your ratio is.  It’s rare to see someone that does not drink coffee.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   So let’s talk about coffee a bit.  Coffee is–is a stimulant.  So it can stimulate cortisol and/or adrenaline or catecholamine production from the adrenal glands.  So the adrenalin glands are these glands that sit on top your kidneys.  They’re your stress-handling glands.  People don’t realize this but they also produce a significant amount of your sex hormones as well.  So when you’re stressed and you’re broken down and you’re trying to heal, sex hormones are really important for building blocks of yourself, not just for having–having kiddos.  So on that note, coffee’s gonna stimulate those adrenal glands and will make some adrenaline, again norepinephrine or epinephrine, these are all interchangeable words, right?  Medicine loves to create lots of other words for the–that say the same thing.  So adrenal–adrenaline and catecholamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine–they’re all the same thing, and then cortisol is that hormone that stabilizes blood sugar and also puts out inflammation.  So when people drink coffee, that’s one of the big things and that’s gonna stimulate your sympathetic nervous system and give you a whole bunch of energy.  Now, depending on how you’re using coffee, it can be good or bad.  So the first aspect of coffee I wanna focus on is coffee quality.  Coffee is typically heavily sprayed with pesticides so pesticide exposure is gonna be not good for your liver, not good for your body and your brain, so automatically going to organic coffee is gonna be a big step in the right direction.  That’s number one.  Number two, if you’re doing like a Central American coffee or, you know, a single source coffee that is gonna be of higher quality.  It’s gonna have less mold or mycotoxins like ochratox–ochratoxin and such.  These are various fungus or molds that are on coffee that can definitely create inflammation in your brain and definitely decrease your mental performance.

Evan Brand:   Yeah, I don’t drink too much coffee personally but when I do, I try to make it a good quality, and I’ll feel the difference.  Sometimes, I’ll drink a cup, if I ever do, I’ll drink one and I’ll feel brain fogged and then others, I feel super clean, so if you’re noticing that every morning, you’re drinking your cup of Joe and you feel different, then the previous when you drink it, then you may wanna check out that quality and see if it’s up to par.  You may be getting a blend.  That’s something I see that is a problem for people is they’ll go with a breakfast blend or something like that, which basically is just a fancy marketing term to trick you into thinking it’s good, but they’re just taking several different varieties of coffee and mixing them together and at that point, you’re adding almost like too many cooks to the kitchen, now it’s gonna be much harder for you to track what the quality of that is because you have 3 or 4 different strains of beans in that–in that same bag.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, absolutely.  So there are, you know, different brands of coffee out there.  There’s Dave Asprey’s upgraded coffee which is a really good coffee.  There’s a–I think it’s Bluebell, they’re up in Bay Area, Bluebell I think or Blue Fog.  I think it’s Blue Fog Coffee.  They have a really good coffee.  Premier Research has a great coffee as well.  We use that coffee.  I’ll drink it as well and also it in my patients that are doing enemas which can be great.  So really just try to find a single source, typically higher altitude coffee, Central American coffee is gonna be better.  Single source is gonna be better and just try to buy from places that are more reputable.  And yes, it will cost you more money to have a good cup of coffee.  So spend a little bit more money.  Get the single source.  Get Central American or higher altitude-based coffee and buy coffee from people that have a reputable, you know, sourcing process.  That’s really important.  Then I always basically brew my coffee, you can do it either drip or I like mine French pressed because I feel like the coffee bathes in the water just longer and it has more time for all the aromatic compounds and constituents in the bean to encompass themselves in the water.  It makes a much stronger coffee.

Evan Brand:   Now stronger in effect, too, like you’re gonna feel a more buzz from it?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Well, I’m just basing it off of taste so imagine if the taste is there, there’s gonna be more active constituents there as well.

Evan Brand:   Uh-hmm.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   So when we look at some of those active constituents, coffee actually has a lot of nutrients.  They have various alkaloids in them that are antioxidants.  They have B vitamins like riboflavin, that’s B2.  Pantothenic acid which is B5, which is actually–is a important nutrient for the adrenal glands.  Manganese, potassium, magnesium, niacin, there is some decent nutrients in coffee, a lot of antioxidants as well.  The thing is because it’s a stimulator, people that have adrenal issues can easily go to town on coffee to kind of make up for their lack of adrenal potency.  So we wanna always make sure that coffee isn’t being used in replacement of poor adrenal health.

Evan Brand:   And I’d say that’s so common but 90% of the population doesn’t know that they’re actually doing that.  If you told the average person on the street with their 24-ounce Starbucks with whipped cream and all that on top and you’d tell them, “Look, you’re trying to offset your low adrenal output.”  They’re gonna be like, “What?”  They have no idea but that’s typically what’s happening.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, most people need to be more honest with themselves.  When they go to Starbucks and they say, “Can I have a coffee?”  Just stop that and say, “Can I have dessert?”  Because that’s not coffee, it is dessert.  I mean, like all these different shots and all these different whipped cream with sugar in it and stuff, it’s just–it’s just absolute–it’s like dessert.  People feel like they’re having coffee, but it’s really just dessert in a cup.  So with coffee, there’s a couple things you can do.  So, number one.  I always have patients do coffee after they eat, because sometimes if there’s gut issues, coffee can be abrasive on the gut.  I’ve seen it too many times in my patients.  So if you have gut issues, try doing a little bit of coffee after you eat.  That’s number one.  Try putting some high quality fat in your coffee.  What fat does to your coffee, it binds to the caffeine and actually creates a time-release effect.  So get this magic carpet caffeine ride versus this rollercoaster caffeine ride.  The rollercoaster caffeine ride, everyone knows what that is.  You have it, it’s like–boom–you’re jittering.  You’re bouncing off the walls and then crash.  Where the magic carpet caffeine ride is this gentle, you know, rise and you go up there and then you feel sustained and you can keep–keep your energy going at the highest level.  I always get–when I say it I always have that theme song for Aladdin going in there–going on in the background.  Any comments, Evan?

Evan Brand:   Well, theanine’s cool, too.  The amino acid theanine.  If I were to drink coffee, which literally is probably 2 cups a year at this rate, I will take some L-theanine which is found in green tea.  I love to take that because that’s gonna help to balance out that caffeine.  I’ve got the 23andMe test done on my genes and sure enough it–it told me what I already figured out, was that I’m a slow metabolizer of caffeine and I just feel weird and–and crazy off the wall if I–I drink too much of it, and so I’ll take about 1 or 2 hundred milligrams of theanine with the caffeine and it just totally balances you out and you have that calm, smooth clarity.  Combining that with fat, I’ve never done combining with fat and theanine at the same time, but that sounds like a trifecta.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Oh, absolutely.  So the–the fats is gonna time-release that caffeine and make that magic carpet caffeine ride–cue the music–and then also people that have that fat metabolizing–excuse me–that caffeine metabolizing issue, that’s the CYP1A2 gene, that gene is gonna make it more difficult for you to metabolize that coffee and people that have that, they’re gonna know.  They’re gonna feel the jitters.  They’re not gonna feel too good after coffee.  They may have a real hard time sleeping after coffee as well.  So people are gonna know that and you can always get that genetic test.  Was that 23andMe?

Evan Brand:   Yeah, that was 23andMe.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   So 23andMe for that test.  Most people are already gonna know.  Not a huge fan of genetic test because they are not functional.  They’re static.

Evan Brand:   Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   So I like tests that can look at epigenetics, meaning the expression of how you’re functioning now and not static genes.  So that’s one piece.  Now we talked about the slow metabolizers.  People that are fast metabolizers, they also know it, too, because they tend to do pretty well with caffeine.  It doesn’t tend to hit them that much.  I would say I’m somewhere in the middle.  I don’t need coffee.  I love the warm goodness, like having that coffee in the morning with the butter and also, I forgot to add, the MCTs.  We wanna have grass-fed butter because grass-fed butter has butyrate in it, which is a short chain fatty acid that binds to the caffeine and creates that time-release effect.  We also have the MCT, which is the medium chain triglyceride.  It’s a fatty acid that’s typically a combination of 6, 8, 10, and 12 carbons long.  So we have 6, 8, 10, and 12 which is capric, caproic, and caprylic and then we have C12 which is lauric acid which is the primary fat in breastmilk, that’s antimicrobial, antifungal as well.  So these are really good fats.  So you have your MCT oil.  Now Dave Asprey has one that I think is typically C6.  I think it’s just capric and that’s like, I think 8 times more MCT in it.  That’s a good one, too.  I like that one.  I’ll also use other MCTs, too.  So MCT is great.  Butter is great.  Now if you’re autoimmune and you think you’re sensitive to like the Kerrygold grass-fed butter, you can always throw in some keifer–not, I’m sorry–ghee.  Ghee is what you’d wanna do.  You can do the clarified ghee from, I think it’s Pure India or Purity Farms.  It’s the one in Whole Foods with the cow and the blue label.  Ghee is gonna have no lactose in it, relatively speaking, and it’s gonna have no casein either.  Now butter may have a small amount of lactose and a small amount of casein.  Now for most people, lactose is the sugar that’s in dairy that people don’t have the enzyme for, and they’re called lactose intolerant.  And then casein is that inflammatory protein in dairy.  So if you do ghee, you’re gonna have less casein and less lactose.  Now most people with grass-fed butter, they’re not gonna have a problem, but if you are having a problem, go to the ghee.  That can be your–your next best step.

Evan Brand:   Ghee is tasty to cook with, too.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Oh, it’s awesome.  I love ghee.  So on that note, we make our coffee better by just time-releasing the fat.  We do it after a meal.  Now I typically recommend doing like 1 to 2 cups.  Like keep it at 1-2 cups and I don’t recommend any coffee after noon time.  After the noon time.  But coffee has a lot of great benefits because it’s gonna be very neurologically stimulating.  It does this because there’s an inhibitory neurotransmitter in your brain called adenosine and it’s inhibitory.  So it’s shutting–it’s shutting things down.  It’s slowing things down.  So think it as–think of inhibitory neurotransmitters as like the–the brake pedal and think of stimulatory neurotransmitters as like the gas pedal.  So again, coffee blocks this inhibitory neurotransmitter called adenosine.  Now at the same time, it stimulates things like dopamine which is a more excitatory, more a reward center-focused neurotransmitter and then also dopamine precursors like neurotransmitters norepinephrine and adrenaline.  Alright, norepinephrine and epinephrine are adrenaline and they actually come from dopamine.  So adrenaline is actually a building block that comes from dopamine.  So the coffee will up the dopamine and up those adrenaline levels which will help focus and also the reward centers in your brain fire better, too.  Comments, Evan.

Evan Brand:   I froze there for a little bit on your end.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   I’m gonna say–I’m gonna say we have to get you some–some coffee right now.

Evan Brand:   No, it’s too late.  It’s–it’s 3:30 my time.  I’d be up awake if I drink some at this point.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, so on that note, coffee–the benefits are gonna be neurological for focus.  So really excellent way to study or focus or get extra work you have to get done, that can be a really great source.  It could be great especially if you’re mixing in the fats.  It can be great to increase ketones because coffee, the–the caffeine in that will increase fatty acid stimulation.  So it will increase the fatty acid synthesis, so you’ll make more fatty acids.  You’ll stimulate more fatty acid production release in your body, so you’ll be able to burn those fats for energy and that’s gonna keep your blood sugar more stable.  It will also stimulate ketones if you consume it with the fats, like the butter and the MCT.  You’ll get more ketones and ketones are another fat precursors that your body can burn for energy and it’s like throwing these big logs on the fire.  So when those big logs are on the fire, your blood sugar is gonna be more stable and ketones will also suppress your appetite so you’ll feel hungry longer.

Evan Brand:   Yeah, and obviously a lot of people listening want health but admittedly, a lot of them are gonna want weight loss, too.  And they’ll talk about, “Oh, I have that 5, 10 pounds around the belly area I wanna get rid of.”  This method that we’re talking about can be an effective way for weight loss and obviously it’s a side effect of making yourself healthy because you’re getting in these high quality and high potency fats, but I’ve heard of many people and you and I heard it all day every day at the conference, people losing significant amounts of weight by doing, you know, a butter coffee or an MCT oil and things like that in their–their routine.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   You just gotta be careful because there’s so much good fatty acids being stimulated from your body and then you’ll also have the ketones from the MCT and potentially the butter, it could shut down your appetite.  And when your appetite shut down, let’s face it, you’re just not gonna eat other good foods.  And you’re getting nutrients in the coffee, you’re getting nutrients in the butter and fat, but I mean, there’s not gonna be much outside of that.  So you have to make sure you’re not shutting your appetite down so much where you’re robbing Peter to pay Paul, so now you’re not gonna get the nutrients on the other side of the fence from having a healthy lunch, a healthy dinner.  So I see a lot of patients, especially my patients that do Bulletproof Coffee, it can be a great tool but a lot of people are using it to the excess and it’s shutting down their appetite so much they’re not getting other nutrients they need from their other meals that should be throughout the day.  Remember when we eat food, it’s not about calories, it’s about nutrients.  Your body runs on nutrients.  All nutrients contain calories.  Not all calories contain nutrients.  A whole bunch of calories and a whole bunch of fructose corn syrup, but there’s not much nutrients there.  So if we’re eating nutrient-dense foods, healthy veggies, organic meats, healthy fats, maybe some low sugar fruit, we’re gonna be getting a lot of vitamins and minerals and nutrients along with it.  So we don’t wanna shut out appetite down to the point where in–where we are no longer having the desire to eat nutrient-dense foods.

Evan Brand:   Yeah, great point.  Yeah, I mean, I’ve seen that dozens of times where people are just not even eating a lunch because they will do that coffee and here it is, 2-3 p.m.  They’ve had no solid food at that point and then at that point, I–I start to get a little bit concerned about blood sugar because I know you may have the good fats and the coffee but at a certain level, your body still wants those solid food over a liquid food that may have fat in it.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah.

Evan Brand:   I don’t have any–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Uh-hmm.

Evan Brand:   Research to prove, say drinking your fat versus chewing your fat, but to me, it’s always good to have solid food when possible for those fats.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Absolutely and not to mention, just the fact that we don’t wanna be relying on the coffee just to whip the adrenal glands more.

Evan Brand:   Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   That’s really easy and I see a lot of people, they’re just not eating enough throughout the day.  Not getting enough nutrients throughout the day.  They’re killing their appetite with the ketones which can be good if you are consuming too many calories but if we’re eating real nutrient-dense food, those calories and those nutrients are detected by our brain and our brain shuts down our appetite appropriately when we’re getting enough nutrients.  So we wanna keep that regulation system going by eating real food throughout the day.  So how I do it is this.  I’ll have a little bit of coffee in the morning, maybe 1-2 cups of coffee.  I’ll do it after my breakfast.  So this morning, I did 4 poached eggs, okay.  Did my coffee mixed with butter and MCT, blended that up for about 30 seconds, had that after my eggs, and I was ready to go.  So when I ate lunch at 1 o’clock, 5–5-1/2 hours in, I wasn’t even craving it.  But it felt good.  My blood sugar is stable.  I got some nutrients in my–my system, which is good, and I get enough calories in the system, too.  So that’s important.  And then for most patients that have adrenalin issues, I wouldn’t go more than 1 or 2.  And I also do the chest–the–the test here which is basically have no coffee for a morning.  See how you do.  Do you get by?  For me, it’s just that warm blanket.  That’s what it is for me.  I did no coffee yesterday or I’ll even mix it with decaf every now and then and it doesn’t change for me.  People that may be coffee sensitive, they could do like a–a matcha potentially or a chai tea.  Have you tried it with matcha, Evan?

Evan Brand:   Oh, I love matcha.  Yeah, absolutely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Do you do it with the–do you do it with the MCT and butter?

Evan Brand:   I’ve–I’ve never done MCT.  I have done butter and it was a little weird just because it was a super buttery flavor tea–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah.

Evan Brand:   So it kinda threw me off a little bit but it’s still–it’s still made me feel amazing.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, I know chai that’s pretty well.  So people are trying to get that extra fat in your body and you can’t do the coffee because of stimulation or because of just potentially you’re afraid of autoimmunity from the coffee beans.  Well, you can easily do the chai tea.  I always try decaf, too, and give that a whirl and see how it goes.  Also, one thing to add, coffee especially high quality coffee beans–studies show that there’s more antioxidants in coffee than both fruits and vegetables combined.  So people gotta remember, a lot of antioxidants in coffee, a lot of benefits, just make sure it’s high quality.  Make sure it’s organic.  You’re not getting a whole bunch of pesticides.  Make sure you can tolerate it.  If you have an autoimmune condition, well, try a–a chai tea instead or even try going off it a 100%.  Add some high quality fat to it so you create that magic carpet caffeine ride and create that nice time-release effect.  Do it after you eat and make sure you only have 1-2 servings a day and make sure you’re not using it as a crutch to just keep your appetite suppressed and avoid getting enough nutrients in other places throughout the day.

Evan Brand:   Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Any comments, Evan?

Evan Brand:   No, I think that’s a great overview.  I mean, definitely just zoom out a little bit and be honest with yourself about your caffeine usage.  I know for my wife now that she is pregnant, she’s gone cold turkey on coffee, and some people say, “Oh, maybe you could have a cup or–or two or whatever,” but she’s pulled–she was a daily coffee drinker and now she’s totally fine.  So maybe would she be cool to drink it?  Probably, but she’s not and she feels good and–and it’s kind of a good reset, I suppose.  And so maybe if you’re questioning your habit a little bit, it might be good to just take–take a day off or take everyday’s off and switch to tea or something else, or maybe just do no diuretics and do some lemon water instead.  That is one piece that I guess I would add to finish out here, is that coffee is a diuretic and teas are diuretics as well, and so just because you are drinking maybe 40 or 50 ounces of water per day, which, you know, that may not be enough anyway if you’re adding in that coffee then that doesn’t count as your water intake so make sure you replenish what you’re drinking in terms of ounces for your cups.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yeah, if any of my patients are listening and we talk about drinking half your body weight in ounces, coffee does not count towards it.  So you just gotta make sure you–if you’re like–for me I’m 200 pounds, I need 100 ounces of water a day with minerals added and that does not include any coffee or teas that I have.

Evan Brand:   Yup, so do the Math.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Well, I’m just making this podcast primarily for a lot of my patients that come on do and Bulletproof Coffee.  I endorse it–Bulletproof–I think it’s great.  I think it’s a great tool for focus and for blood sugar stability and getting lots of good fats in but it can be easily abused and it can be a crutch of people not getting enough food and they just don’t wanna eat throughout the day and it can really sabotage their adrenals if you do too much or do it too much in the long run.  So if you’re gonna do Bulletproof just in the morning, I recommend doing some collagen, like 20 grams of collagen in the morning, so you’ll at least get some good protein and amino acids in your system that will help with just overall nutrients.  So if you’re in a stressed out state, your body won’t be pulling protein from your muscles, it at least has amino acids in the bloodstream it can take from and then make sure you have it afterwards and then have a lunch scheduled at around 1 or 2 o’clock.  And then if you wanna add in an intermittent fast day, let’s say you just do some intermittent fasting and don’t eat solid food until 2 or 3 o’clock that’s fine, but make sure you’re healthy first.  Make sure you don’t have any health complaints and try it on a weekend day where there’s less stress.  If you’re an executive or a busy person, and you’re not having nutrients, well, again if you’re not putting nutrients in the tank, your body has to get them from somewhere.  Okay?  It doesn’t just like manifest them out of thin air.  So it’s gonna come from somewhere and that’s gonna cause you to burn up some of your minerals and more of your B vitamins and shred out more of your protein if there isn’t nutrients there in the tank to burn.  So remember that.  Put nutrients in the tank.  Don’t think about calories.  Think about nutrients and then make sure you do some of the tips that I mentioned to prevent yourself from getting derailed by caffeine and coffee.

Evan Brand:  Yup, great points.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Alright, Evan.  It’s been real.  I got a patient.  We’ll talk soon.

Evan Brand:   See ya!  Bye!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Take care!




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